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  Johnson Cemetery




The Johnson Cemetery 
  The following information is intended to provide a basic guide to the Johnson Cemetery.  This information is based on my Grandmother?s (Mary Johnson Davidson) written family history (dated 1948) and my Mother?s (Marion Christine Davidson Franklin) recollections. 

For reference, I have provided a diagram of the burial sites (not to scale).  The seventeen burial sites are numbered for reference. 

   1. Thomas P. (Price) Johnson: Born on June 8, 1826 in Russellville, Logan County Kentucky.  Died November 5, 1901.
      Note:  Little is known about T. P. Johnson's youth in Logan County, other than he was opposed to his Father's drinking and he left home at a young age because of it. 
                In early 1851 he met the Dickerson family and traveled with them to Texas.  Tom married Mary Dickerson on November 5, 1851.  He was 23 and she was 15. 
         The Dickersons and Johnsons first settled in Lamar County then moved to Kentucky Town, Grayson County.  Shortly before the start of the Civil War, they had settled in the Cedar Mills area.  The Johnsons moved onto the land that is now Sherwood Shores II in about 1861 but did not purchase the farm until 1868. 
         Tom was active in the establishment of Baptist Churches in Basin Springs, Gordonville, Post Oak Grove and Cedar Mills.  His headstone inscription is a summary of his Christian life.  "Weep not, he is at rest, a sinner, saved by grace."
         Tom died on his 50th wedding anniversary. 



   2. Mary J. (Dickerson) Johnson: Wife of Thomas P. Johnson (1). Born on April 21, 1836 (on the same day as the battle of San Jacinto) in or near to Glasgow, Barren County, Kentucky.  Daughter of Thomas Jefferson Dickerson and Judith Parrish Dickerson (both parents are buried in the Noel Cemetery, near Juniper Point, Grayson County).  She died November 20, 1920.
      Notes: Mary Dickerson was the daughter of prominent residents of Barren County Kentucky and the descendent of some of the first families of Virginia.  Her Second Cousin, 3 times removed was Dolly Payne Madison, "The First Lady of the United States".  She was related by marriage to Presidents Washington, Jefferson and Madison.  Her 6th Great Grandparents, Dr. John and Sarah Woodson, landed in Jamestown in 1619. 
         Her happy childhood in Kentucky was a marked contrast to the difficult adult life she faced as a frontier wife in Texas.  My Grandmother?s history is filled with stories of Mary's struggles to just survive and raise a family during the war years and reconstruction.
         "Mary was a widow for twenty years.  She read a lot, liked politics and was a great admirer of Joe Bailey and William Jennings Bryant.  The year she died was the first year women were permitted to vote.  She couldn't be persuaded to vote, however.  Dr. T.E. McKinney came and begged her to vote but she did not believe in women voting".  Mary Davidson 


   3. Horace J. Johnson: Son of T. P. Johnson (1) and Mary Johnson (2).  Husband of Jane Johnson (4).  Born December 31, 1857 in Kentucky Town, Grayson County, Texas.  Died December 18, 1925.
      Notes: Horace Johnson went on his first cattle drive when he was 12 years old.  He spent his teenage and young adult years pushing longhorns up the cattle trails from Texas. 
         In 1884, he made an agreement with his Uncle, Frank Noel, to make one last trip up the Goodnight-Loving Trail to Denver. This trip was planned to last three years.  Longhorns had the unique ability to reproduce on cattle drives so after three years of slow movement, the herd that arrived in Denver would be much larger that the one that left Cedar Mills. 
          As a bonus for living on the trail for three years, Frank Noel promised to give Horace the 50 acre tract of land that is situated on the west side of the current Cedar Mills Road. After three years, he returned to claim his bride, and his land. 


   4. Jane Susan (Mangis) Johnson: Daughter of J. C. Mangis (buried in the Cedar Mills Cemetery, Grayson County) and Elisa Biggerstaff Mangis.  Wife of Horace Johnson (3).  Born December 6, 1860 in Hamilton County, Illinois.  Died May 14, 1939.
      Notes:  Around 1878, J. C. Mangis brought his family to Texas from Illinois because a doctor told him that his aged mother needed to move for her health. 
         Because he had a passion for planting churches, he soon became a good friend with Thomas P. Johnson who shared the same calling. 
         Even though their fathers were good friends, Horace had never met Jane.  On the night before Horace was to leave on the three-year cattle drive, they were introduced to each other at a social.  They became instant friends.  Even though Jane was engaged to be married, she could not help spending the rest of the evening listening to Horace?s stories of his trail drives. 
         The next day, as Horace left for the round up, he stopped by the Mangis home to tell Jane goodbye.  They laughed and talked about what a good time they had the night before.  Then Horace told her that, ?he believed that if she were not already engaged, he would just come back in three years and marry her?. 
         Jane took the engagement ring off her hand and threw it into the fireplace and said, "I am no longer engaged.  If you are serious, I will wait and marry you when you return".  They made promises to each other, which they kept. 
         When they married in 1888, he was 30 and she was 27. 


   5. Mary Thomas (Johnson) Saunders: Wife of Dr. R. H. Saunders and daughter of Thomas Johnson (1) and Mary Johnson (2).  Born in Blossom Prairie, Lamar County, Texas, Aug. 8, 1852.  Died in Denison, Texas February 27, 1881.
      Notes: Mary's husband, Dr. R. H. Saunders was a native of Memphis, Tennessee.  After he returned from the Civil War, nothing was left of his home and family so he traveled west.  He settled in Cedar Mills and married Mary Thomas Johnson in 1867. 
         In addition to the two daughters that are buried in the Johnson Cemetery, they had three other children Tom, Willie and Gertrude. 
         The Saunders moved to Oklahoma where they ran a school for Indian children and then settled in Denison.  When Mary died in Denison, during childbirth in 1881, the Johnsons brought her remains back to this cemetery for burial. 
         Dr. Saunders moved his practice to Kentucky Town, Grayson County where he married a cousin of his late wife, Blanche Parrish.  Dr. Saunders died in 1907 and is buried in the Vittitoe Cemetery, south of Kentucky Town. 
   6. Mary Saunders: Infant daughter of Mary T. Johnson Saunders (5) and Dr. R. H. Saunders.  Born and died September 25, 1871.


    7. Mary Catharine Saunders: Daughter of Mary T. Johnson Saunders (5) and Dr. R. H. Saunders.  Born September 26, 1875 and died July 15, 1877.


    8. Frank R. Johnson: Son of Horace Johnson (3) and Jane Johnson (4).  Born October 13, 1891.  Died of injuries due to being thrown from a horse, December 23, 1904.


   9. ?Blond? Johnson: Son of Horace Johnson (3) and Jane Johnson (4).  Born and died February 15, 1895.  Footstone marked "B. J." 


  10. Thomas J. Johnson: Son of Horace Johnson (3) and Jane Johnson (4).  Born October 2, 1888.  Died from Meningitis, February 4, 1892.
      Note:  "One winter, meningitis took two of our family.  That year, several died of meningitis.  It has been an epidemic three different years in Cedar Mills.".....Mary Davidson 


  11. George Johnson: Son of Greenberry Johnson who was the Brother of T. P Johnson (1).  Greenberry Johnson and his family moved to Texas after T.P. Johnson and is buried in the Mount Tabor Cemetery. George Johnson was the Husband of Julia Hester Johnson (12).  Born December 21, 1876 and died May 27, 1906.


  12. Julia Hester (Mangis) Johnson: Sister of Jane S. Mangis Johnson (4) and Wife of George Johnson (11).  Born August 2, 1877 and died 1962.
      Notes:  Julia was 21 when she married on Aug. 21, 1898.  She became a widow at the age of 29 and lived as widow for another 56 years.  They had one daughter, Nettie.  My mother remembers Julia as being an exceptional seamstress.  Once a year, she and her daughter would make an extended visit while she helped sew the clothes needed for the family. 


  13. James Britt: Son of J. A. Britt and Dora Hester (Johnson) Britt.  Dora Britt was the Daughter of Horace (3) and Jane Johnson (4).  James Britt was born 1922 and died 1923.


   14. Harold Britt: Son of J. A. Britt and Dora Hester (Johnson) Britt.  Dora Britt was the Daughter of Horace (3) and Jane Johnson (4). Harold Britt was born and died 1924. 


   15. Mary Ellen Overstreet: Daughter of Robert Overstreet and Ophelia Medora (Johnson) Overstreet.  Ophelia (aka. Dora and aka. Bubba) Johnson was the Daughter of T. P. Johnson (1) and Mary Johnson (2).  Mary Ellen Overstreet was born July 23, 1878 and died March 22, 1890. 
      Note: "Dora Johnson married Robert Overstreet in 1876.  Robert came from Kentucky and was one of the early teachers in Cedar Mills.  He later opened a general store.  He was in partnership with Governor Overton a few years.  In 1885 they settled at Elk, Indian Territory.  This couple had eleven children.  Dora lived to be 86."  - Mary Davidson 


  16. Cary Overstreet: Son of Robert Overstreet and Ophelia Medora (Johnson) Overstreet. Ophelia (Johnson) Overstreet was the Daughter of T. P. Johnson (1) and Mary Johnson (2).  Cary Overstreet was born September 13, 1884 and died April 3, 1885.


   17. Lucinda Johnson (a.k.a. Cindy or Sindy).  Former slave of Mary Johnson (2).  "Sindy" was born about 1847.  The 1880 Census gives her age as 33.  Unknown date of death.  She is buried in an unmarked grave located somewhere between the southeast corner of the fenced cemetery to the center of the current road. 
      Note:  "Sindy" was given to Mary by her Mother, Judith Parrish Dickerson, as a wedding present for the purpose of serving Mary as a maid.  As far as I know, she was the only slave who ever lived on the Johnson farm.  After the Civil War, she elected to remain with the family.  When she became ill, the family cared for her as one of their own until she passed away.  Her grave was not always unmarked.  My mother can remember seeing a marker when she was a child.
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